The United States has launched a new private sponsorship program that will enable Americans to sponsor refugees arriving through the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), amid heightened concern over plans by the Joe Biden administration to limit migrants from the Caribbean and other countries.
US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken said that the Department of State, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, has launched the Welcome Corps that would directly support refugees’ resettlement and “make a difference by welcoming these new neighbors into their communities.”
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“This program invites Americans to be partners and guides to refugees, as they build new lives in the United States and help them realize their full potential,” said Blinken, adding “the Welcome Corps is the boldest innovation in refugee resettlement in four decades.”
“It is designed to strengthen and expand the capacity of the USRAP by harnessing the energy and talents of Americans from all walks of life desiring to serve as private sponsors – ranging from members of faith and civic groups, veterans, Diaspora communities, businesses, colleges and universities, and more,” he said.
In the program’s first year, the Biden administration’s goal is to mobilize at least 10,000 Americans “to step forward as private sponsors and offer a welcoming hand to at least 5,000 refugees from around the world.”
The US Secretary of State said the Welcome Corps will build on “the extraordinary response of the American people over the past year in welcoming our Afghan allies, Ukrainians displaced by war, Venezuelans, and others fleeing violence and oppression.”
“In the face of unprecedented global displacement, the United States will continue to lead the international community in humanitarian response, including refugee resettlement. By launching the Welcome Corps, we build on a proud tradition of providing refuge and demonstrate the spirit and generosity of the American people as we commit to welcoming refugees in need of our support,” Blinken continued.
Blinken’s announcement comes as Caribbean American Democratic Congresswoman, Yvette D Clarke, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk last week denounced plans by the Biden administration to restrict migrants from the Caribbean and other places.
Earlier, the Biden administration announced that it was limiting migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Haiti who enter the US to 30,0000 each month under humanitarian parole while expelling those who attempt to cross the southwestern border. (CMC)